Economic analysis in support of protected species management

January 2006

The ESA requires that recovery plans for listed species include estimates of the cost of implementing the plans. Given the importance of habitat restoration to recovery of ESA-listed salmonids, the Fisheries Economics Team’s ESA-related work focuses largely on habitat restoration costs and related models. For instance, the Team worked with PSMFC and CDFG on design and creation of the California Habitat Restoration Project Database (CHRPD) - a database that includes cost and other data for numerous salmonid restoration projects in California. Using CHRPD data and other, more detailed site-specific cost data provided by restoration contractors, the Team is working on models that estimate restoration costs as a function of characteristics of the restoration project, characteristics of the landscape in which the project occurred, and local economic conditions.

To help address sedimentation problems (a major impediment to salmon recovery in many northern California streams), the Team is working on habitat management models that focus on erosion control and sediment loading at the road and watershed level. For instance, using stochastic dynamic programming methods, the Team has developed a model of logging road management that identifies the treatment (road removal, road improvement, status quo maintenance) that minimizes the long-run expected cost of erosion control on a road. The Team has also used large-scale mixed-integer programming techniques to develop a spatial watershed management model that identifies the optimal siting and timing of road maintenance, road removal and timber harvest activities.

The Team is using existing dockside sampling, logbook and observer data to analyze the effects of pinniped-fishery interactions on fishing operations and how those effects vary by fishery, year, season and location. The Team will also be providing recommendations regarding how existing data collections might be improved to enhance our understanding of the nature and extent of such interactions.

Contact: SWFSC Fisheries Ecology Division, Fisheries Economics

Last modified: 12/24/2014